Local News

Statutory rape charges against former Orange County Schools teacher dropped

Posted October 11, 2019 10:18 p.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2019 11:04 p.m. EDT

William Thomas Pendergrass

— The Wake County District Attorney confirmed to WRAL Friday night that statutory rape charges have been dropped against a former Orange County teacher charged with sex crimes dating from the mid-1980s.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said the charge of statutory rape did not exist in 1986 when the officials said the crime was committed. Bill Pendergrass was arrested on Oct. 4 on three counts each of indecent liberties with a child and statutory rape.

According to arrest warrants, he engaged in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl between July 1986 and July 1987. Pendergrass is still facing three other felony charges of indecent liberties with a minor for the same event.

The DA said despite this, she is researching other charges that can be applied to this case. She said they would be coming forward with new charges shortly.

Pendergrass started work in August as the band teacher at Gravelly Hill Middle School in Efland, officials said. He previously was the band instructor at the private Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, according to various online listings. He also once taught at West Cary Middle School.

He resigned his position with Orange County Schools on Oct. 8.

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